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Dance My Blues Away.


Illustration by Fifi Flowers

Last Wednesday, I received a text message from Aurelien saying that we were going out on a Friday night date. Or his exact words: une soirée surprise super sympa!  Oooh, how mysterious. Like any yenta would do, I completely ignored the surprise bit and responded with "Wait, where are we going?". I love surprises especially when I'm in on them, so I just had to know. Aurelien wasn't budging on this one and cryptically responded with, "It's a surprise that you will love. We need a night out on the town!". Well if that's not the truth. A night out would do us some good.

Aurelien who likes to taunt me when he has a secret activity planned, put on a little show by dramatically putting something in his bag while dancing and singing that he wasn't going to let me in on the surprise. I actually did get a glimpse of what it was; it was an envelope of some sort with an image of joyous nuns and cheerful red letters that I was unable to make out. Joyous nuns? Joyous Nuns. And then it hit me.

He bought tickets to see Sister Act. The Musical. In French.

Kill me now.

Despite my own musical Tourette syndrome where I break into song at several moments in a day, I really do hate musicals. And translated in French? I doubt that would offer much improvement. The only musical I'll accept is The Rocky Horror Picture Show. As for the others, as far as I'm concerned, they don't exist. I would sooner stand in line at the prefecture with expired paperwork during a snowstorm than go see a musical. I really do not like them. And yes, this includes Glee.

Aurelien really is so sweet though. He really just wants to cheer me up during all of this wedding nonsense, and thought that taking me to dinner and a musical would do the trick. I love his effort. It's not the gift, it's the thought, and like he said, we so needed a night out.

As planned, on Friday night I met him at work where even his boss was in on the surprise. She gave me a little wink and a thumbs up before wishing us a bon week-end. The suspense was pure torture. Where in brouhaha were we going? 

We stopped for a quick bite at Sushi Shop where we feasted on a sashimi platter, edamame and for dessert - wait for it - foie gras sushi (only in France, I tell you) before heading to the play. I had mentally prepared myself for a night of Whoopi who would be there in spirit, singing nuns and 1950s pop music. When we didn't descend down to the metro that we had passed, my Sister Act: The Musical speculation was beginning to falter on me.

Hmmmm, perhaps my investigation skills aren't as sharp as they once were.

In the same neighborhood as his office, I followed Aurelien into a place called the Bus Palladium...


Well, this surely isn't where Sister Act: The Musical en français would be performing, I thought. The bored looking French hipsters smoking on the sidewalk sort of gave it away. If it wasn't the play, then just what were we doing? Aurelien then handed me my ticket that he pulled out of the Sister Act: The Musical envelope, and I squealed with total excitement when I discovered what the surprise was!  

We were going to Bertrand Bergulat; that jazzy, 60s-inspired French chanteur that I have been obsessed with since I saw him perform at Paris Fashion Night Out at Roger Vivier! Aurelien strategically let me have a glimpse of the envelope to throw me off, hoping that I'd think we were going to see the play. Bien joué.


This was an evening that I needed more than ever. I don't remember the last time I had danced so much. In my heels that were slicing my pinky toes, I literally danced my blues away in this 1960s euro-discotheque setting. Bertrand has quite a big following with the underground French music scenesters who have a propensity for kitch. His fans range from in-the-know young music connoisseurs, the taste-makers, and us; aging (dancing!) hipsters. On this Friday night in Paris, being older or younger, Anglo or French, we all had one thing in common; we were there to dance. Perhaps other people were there to shake some blues away as well.

The venue itself was intimate, cleverly decorated with faded vintage swan wallpaper, and well-designed light fixtures giving the space a warm glow. My only complaint was the bar. They don't serve wine (in Paris this seems ludicrous), watered down beer cost 5 euros, and the cocktails, well you should have seen my look of absolute horror when the bartender told me that mojitos cost 14 euros. Well, Halloween is coming so I guess everyone is entitled to one good scare, eh? Or perhaps I'm being a bit of a Stingy Mindy here, but 14 euros is a little steep for one drink. Since I don't drink beer, for the first time in about ten years I went dry and ordered nothing. I let the music be my cocktail for the evening.

It felt good to let loose, forget about our unfortunate current events, and enjoyed a night out tous les deux for an exceptional date night in Paris. Honestly, even if we had gone to Sister Act: The Musical (do you like how I keep including "The Musical" part?) we would have had just as much fun - just less dancing. It really is the company that makes an evening special...and of course having a good dance partner always helps!


  

23 comments:

  1. Glad you had fun! Seb is a master of surprise. Hate places that don't serve wine, clearly just a trap to lure you into those overpriced cocktails.

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    1. The master of surprise! Yes, he so is.

      This is the first place I've been to in France that just doesn't serve wine. I looked at her stunned and tongue tied. No I get why, they're pushing those 14 euro mojitos. Well ha ha on them, I drank nothing.

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  2. so fun!! Bus Palladium is a blast. Ogilvy had a 70's themed party there which worked very well with the decor. what a great surprise and fun friday night...

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    1. Oh yeah, I remember that post. I remember wondering where this place was when I was reading it like..what, last year? It's a great spot in jumping neighborhood, they just have to improve their bar a bit!

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  3. So glad you found Seb, he sounds lovely. That is how love should be.

    Love Denise

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    1. Aww, thanks Denise! Love is also going to see Sister Act: The Musical.

      :P !

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  4. I LOVE this. I need a night out like this, its just been a little too hectic lately!! Hope you are feeling better. xx

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    1. Thanks Emma! Yeah, I'm doing better. The shock has worn off and you know what? Dancing is the best medicine!

      Hectic?! I hope hectic good not bad. : )

      Again, I'm so sorry about your kitty.

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  5. "I would sooner stand in line at the prefecture with expired paperwork during a snowstorm than go see a musical"
    LMAO!!!
    I feel the same. still weird for a new yorker like you (actress as well?).

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    1. LOL! Not at all native New Yorkers like plays! Hahaha. I have been to one: Rent. And I hated every second of it. My girlfriends were diehards and I was in hell...pure hell.

      I was actually in the play "Annie" in school. It actually was fun but I did it to show "diversity" on my high school transcript. Petite maline! ; )

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  6. Good for you! Get your dance on! This Bertrand guy is adorable. I'm rocking out to your playlist now. Thanks for introducing us to him!

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    1. Isn't he so cute? He smiles when he sings as if he's enjoying every second of it. I'm glad I was able to share a little bit of Paris with you! Enjoy the magic of BB!

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  7. That's our girl! Glad you had a good night. This Seb fella is a keeper!

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    1. Thanks!! yep, I kicked my heels up! It was great fun. Seb is a keeper, isn't he? I'll agree with you on that! Thanks for the note!

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  8. Have you heard of the album recorded in 2000 by Michel Houellebecq and Bertrand Burgalat? It's called "Présence humaine". Many people consider this album a mere anecdote in Houellebecq's career (he's a great writer, I don't know if he's famous in non-French-speaking areas), but I think it's a masterpiece, enriching his literature. In his following novel, "La Possibilité d'une île", he wrote a lot of awful things about Burgalat... Very funny.

    Thank you for the sentence : "there were way too many French hipsters smoking and looking bored on the sidewalk", what an acute description of "parisianisme"!!! It made my day!

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    1. I'm listening to "Présence humain" now. LOVE. Thank you!! So my style. WOW.

      I'm curious. What did Michel wrote about BB? How could anyone write something bad about him? He's so cute and petit! I'll have to look up that book!

      Omg, there were sooooo many hipsters! Even Seb picked up on just how eclectic and "tres cool" the crowd was. We were like, "what do these people do for a living?" We were in a live Kooples ad!

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    2. I'm glad you love "Présence humaine"!
      I found the passage where Houellebecq refers to Burgalat, he calls him "Batasuna" in the novel. It's a half page about him, you should look up "Possibilité d'une île Batasuna" on Google, it'll send you to the digital version of the book where you can read the page (but not copy-paste, hence my explanations...). If you happen to have the Livre de Poche edition in your hands, it's page 142.

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  9. You don't even like Mamma Mia?!:)

    Really glad you had fun:) You sure needed it:) Seb's a gem:)

    Fourteen euros IS a bit pricey for a mojito! I can understand at the Panoramic bar where you get a plate of nibbly things and the best view in Paris, but in some Pigalle bar? Come on!:)

    Just a heads up: I don't care much for dancing anymore, so on the 27th, I'd rather sit with a nice bottle of wine and chat the night away;) (And none of that "one-cocktail crap" either! Who lives like that?!;)

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    1. No Mamma Mia! No musicals!

      We are not going out dancing when you come to town. LOL. That would be kind of weird. Picture it: "Hi! So nice to finally meet you!", as we scream over the pounding music of the dj, and our cocktails slosh all over the place. Not what I had in mind either. Hahaha!

      And major LOL - I simply DO NOT get the "one cocktail" theory. What's the point? LOL. My recovering alcoholic father would have been so proud of that sentence coming from his daughter.

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  10. He was supposed to be a part of CMJ but he postponed his concerts. I was so disappointed! He has a lot of "hipster buzz" here in NYC! I hope he comes back!

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    1. Oh I hope he plans a show in NYC!! He is great live! It's like a time warp! So kitch. And his fans are just great. I'd be curious about his American fans, because his French fans were just out there. It was great.

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  11. That is the most awesome thing ever! Seb knows you so well! I'm so happy for you that you didn't have to sit through Sister Act because I'm like you... unless someone is singing, "I'm just a sweet transvestite..." than I don't want to hear it!
    P.S. Is there anywhere to see Rocky Horror in Paris because if there is, I'm coming up and we're going! x

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    1. Yes! Rocky Horror does play here!!! It exists!! We so need to plan that at some time. We'd both have to be Magenta because of our big hair!

      I'm so glad that you're with me on being anti-musical! Haha! They're just awful and corny....especially during ballads. The WORST!

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